If you’ve never tried matcha before, you probably have a few questions about it. You might wonder what it tastes like or how to prepare it.

You’re probably also wondering if Magus Brands matcha is as awesome as it sounds. There’s a lot of competition in the matcha market, so is Magus truly the best?

I’m going to answer all of these questions with a matcha shootout.

First, a bit about me. I’m Ian, the content guy at Magus Brands. And even though I’ve been with Magus for several months now, I'd only tried matcha once. That made me the perfect guinea pig to conduct a blind matcha shootout.

This shootout was my second ever experience with matcha, so these results are from the perspective of someone completely new to matcha. And I kept everything blind––my girlfriend helped make sure I had no idea which matcha was which until after the shootout. (She also took all of the photos for this shootout.)

There were some pretty high stakes, as I had no idea if Magus would emerge as the winner or if it would fall behind the others. I tested a pouch of premium Magus Brands matcha along with three of its highest-ranking competitors: DoMatcha, Aiya, and Kenko. Then, I got to brewing, following our official brew guide. It was a wonderful experience, and I’m pleased to share the results with you.

Before I get into the article proper, I want to make one statement: Since I’d only had matcha once before this, my results are from the perspective of a first-time drinker (that is, a first-time in-depth drinker). Those of you with more refined palates may find different tasting notes or hints of bitterness. What follows is my personal first-time experience conducted as a 100% blind taste test.

My Shootout Guidelines

Before I get into the results, here were the exact parameters I used.

I brewed three ways: usucha, koicha, and chilled in a 16.9 fl. oz. water bottle. For the hot brews, I used 167º F (75º C) water. I used 70ml water and 2g of powder for usucha, and I used 40ml of water and 4g of powder for koicha. For the cold method, I used 2g of powder. I used water filtered through my Brita pitcher for the warm brews and Deer Park brand bottled water for the cold brewing methods.

First, I evaluated the look of the tea for its color. Then, I took 3-4 sips of each tea, carefully evaluating each sample for elements like taste, mouthfeel, body, acidity, etc. I then rinsed my palate and the bowl in between tastings to eliminate residual flavors.

I used a whisk and scoop set from BambooMN. I was impressed by the quality of the set, and it helped me make some great, frothy cups of matcha. I also used a matcha sifter to make sure I got clump-free cups.

Each brewing method gave me a new perspective, and the samples were rearranged every time I tasted. So Sample 1 from the usucha brewing wasn’t Sample 1 for the koicha brewing. It was completely blind, so there is no bias whatsoever in this test.

I considered four key factors while cupping: smell, color, taste, and overall impression. I didn’t use a rating system; instead, I reflected on the experiences I had and used those to declare an overall winner in each category.

So without further ado, here are the results for each brewing method! Oh, and here’s another surprise: I’m keeping the sample identities secret until the end of the post, so read along if you want the winners to be a surprise. Or scroll down and spoil the ending; it’s your choice!

(And if you want to join in the cupping, feel free to taste test it yourself.)

Round 1: Usucha

For the first round, I prepared the matcha as usucha, which translates to “thin tea.” I followed the brew guide to make sure each cup was frothy and full of small bubbles (no big bubbles).

Sample #1

Color: Medium jade green

Smell: Dark, earthy

Taste: Bitterness up front, earthy flavors after

Impression: This cup immediately hit me with a huge umami taste, which then settled into a complex vegetal taste. This challenged my palate as a new matcha drinker, but it was rewarding. An intricate cup with lots going on.

Sample #2

Color: Light-medium jade green

Smell: Rich vegetable, faint umami

Taste: Pleasant umami, broiled vegetable

Impression: This cup also immediately hit me with a big umami taste, but it was a bit less bitter and more savory. It had a full mouthfeel to it, and the aftertaste was powdery (but not in a bad way). It was enjoyable, but in a different way from Sample #1.

Sample #3

Color: Medium jade green

Smell: Warm vegetal scent

Taste: Smooth vegetal, medium umami

Impression: This was a smooth cup with a less powdery, more pronounced umami taste. This tea was more on the umami end of the spectrum, and as a result, it gave a much different experience while also being complex.

Sample #4

Color: Light jade green with frothy crema

Smell: Warm, pleasant vegetables

Taste: Laid-back umami, broiled vegetables

Impression: This was the smoothest cup of the bunch. To my untrained palate, it had a rich, vegetal taste that was complemented with a smooth umami flavor. There was also a noticeable vegetal aftertaste that lingered in a pleasant way.

Round 1: Summary

Now it’s time to unmask the teas and see which one came out on top:

First place: Aiya (Sample #4)

Second place: Magus (Sample #1)

Third place: Kenko (Sample #2)

Fourth place: DoMatcha (Sample #3)


Round 2: Koicha

This round was more challenging to my palate because it was the stronger, thicker brewing method of koicha.

Sample #1

Color: Medium to dark jade green

Smell: Warm vegetal

Taste: Bitter umami, vegetal aftertaste

Impression: This was a strong cup of koicha. It was noticeably viscous and left a powdery taste in my mouth. Sort of one-dimensional, but not a bad dimension. Around the third sip, the vegetal tastes started appearing (noticeable snap pea pod flavors), though they were still masked by the ever-present umami. Not a bad cup at all, but a strong one.

Sample #2

Color: Medium jade green

Smell: Complex vegetal

Taste: Rich umami, stalk tastes

Impression: The first sip took me by surprise; instead of a wash of bitterness (which is typical of some matcha brewed koicha–style), I tasted a great umami upfront with the lingering taste of vegetable stalks. A good, smooth cup.

Sample #3

Color: Medium jade green

Smell: Balanced umami and vegetable

Taste: Complex broiled vegetable taste, umami in the background

Impression: This cup had a little bitterness up front, but it quickly disappeared into a dark broiled vegetable taste, leaving the umami in the background. This was a cup I didn’t fully understand; it was an enjoyable cup, but I sense that my untrained palate couldn’t pick up some of the more complex notes going on here. A smooth cup.

Sample #4

Color: Light to medium jade green

Smell: Balanced umami and vegetable

Taste: Pea pod up front, lingering umami in the aftertaste

Impression: This was a smooth, light cup of koicha that was almost sweet, with a pronounced pea taste in both the main sip and the aftertaste. The umami was present but not overwhelming, and the cup was smooth and rich.

Round 2: Results

This was a tough round to judge, and I ended up declaring a tie for third place.

First place: Magus (Sample #4)

Second place: Kenko (Sample #2)

Third place (tie): Aiya (Sample #1)

Third place (tie): DoMatcha (Sample #3)



Round 3: On-the-go (Cold)

For the third round, I took four chilled 16.9 fl. oz. water bottles and added 2g of matcha powder to each of the bottles. This is the on-the-go cold method we recommend for enjoying a chilled, refreshing drink that you can take anywhere.

For this round, I didn’t take smell into account since the matcha was cold and thus less aromatic. Instead, I judged solubility, since I didn't sift the matcha.

Sample #1

Color: Medium/dark jade green

Solubility: No noticeable clumps

Taste: Chilled vegetal, leafy

Impression: A good, medium weight and feel. On the matcha spectrum of tealike flavors to umami (with the ideal in the middle), this tea was more toward the tealike end. No noticeable bitterness; a smooth, enjoyable cup.

Sample #2

Color: Medium jade green

Solubility: A few clumps at the bottom

Taste: Leafy greens, stalk taste

Impression: This cup took a bit longer to absorb; the flavor was complex but not overwhelming. It was a smooth cup that also geared more toward the tealike end of the spectrum, but not as much as Sample 1. This cup was noticeably darker in taste, and it had a full aftertaste.

Sample #3

Color: Light-medium jade green

Solubility: Some clumping at the bottom

Taste: Lively, leafy vegetables

Impression: This was a memorable cup with a vivid fullness. I immediately experienced a rich vegetal taste, with warm tealike tastes coming in afterward. It ended with a slightly bitter aftertaste, but it was bitter in an umami sort of way, and not in a harsh way.

Sample #4

Color: Medium jade green

Solubility: Some clumping at the bottom

Taste: Smoky, umami

Impression: This had the most smoky taste of the bunch. It wasn’t exceptionally smooth, but its flavor was intense and felt the most concentrated. The tealike flavors arrived halfway through the sip but didn’t stay too long.

Round 3: Results

To find a winner for this category, I considered which tea would be best for a full bottle. That is, if I wanted to drink a whole bottle, which tea would it be? It was a tough decision to make, since all of these teas were quite delicate in their taste. In the end, I considered fullness of flavor and bitterness as two main factors.

Here’s what I decided:

First place: DoMatcha (Sample #1)

Second place: Magus Brands (Sample #2)

Third place: Aiya (Sample #3)

Fourth place: Kenko (Sample #2)


From left to right: DoMatcha, Magus Brands, Aiya, Kenko


But What About Price?

You're probably wondering how these teas stack up in price. I've calculated the price per gram for each tea:

Magus Brands: 33¢

Kenko: 99¢

Aiya: 63¢

DoMatcha: $1.11

So if you want to enjoy true ceremonial grade matcha on a budget, Magus Brands matcha can't be beat.


Seeing Is Believing

Here are all four matcha powders––decide for yourself which one is the brightest, most electric green:


From top to bottom: Aiya, DoMatcha, Kenko, Magus Brands


The Magus Advantage

At the end of the day, Magus Brands placed solidly overall. It was the best in class for the koicha method and second place in the usucha and to-go categories. I picked the top competitors who have been around for years, so Magus was taking on its biggest rivals. It speaks volumes that a new matcha company managed to do so well against its competition.

But don't take my word for it––try it yourself.

It’s no secret that matcha is a true superdrink, but just how super is it?

We spotted an article titled “9 Amazing Health Benefits of Matcha Tea.” As matcha junkies, we had to check it out, and we found some pretty bold claims. The article suggests that matcha can help prevent cancer, slow down the aging process, improve your immune system, and more.

But we noticed the article doesn’t go into depth. It briefly explains how matcha does something, and then it moves right on. We know there’s some awesome behind-the-scenes work in matcha’s makeup, and if you drink matcha, you owe it to yourself to learn about it.

We also noticed there are absolutely no sources in that article. How could we trust an article with no science or studies to back it up?

In our quest to bring you the best information about matcha, we set out to find the truths of these 9 claims. We looked to experts and consulted studies to get the answers. After some thorough research, we came to a conclusion for each claim.

In this article, we’ll tell you which of these health claims are true, which ones are false, and which ones are impossible to tell.

First things first: You need to be drinking high-quality matcha. If you’re downing sugar-loaded matcha three times a day, you probably won’t experience many of the benefits (and you’ll probably put on a few pounds).

The best kind of matcha to drink is organic, ceremonial grade matcha from Japan. We proudly carry matcha that meets those standards. So before you evaluate these health claims for yourself, pick up some of our matcha to ensure you’re drinking the absolute best tea available.

Now that you’ve got the best matcha on the market, you’re ready to dive in and uncover the truth behind these claims.

Can matcha really prevent cancer? Will it boost your immune system? Read on to find out.

CLAIM #1: Matcha helps to prevent cancer

What they say: Healthy and Natural World points to epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as an anti-cancer antioxidant. They say that EGCG destroys harmful free radicals in the body. They also say that matcha has “more than 100 times more of these natural warriors compared to other commercial teas.”

Is it true? Sort of.

There’s no doubt that EGCG is one of the most active and potent components of matcha. Matcha contains polyphenols, which are plant chemicals, and certain types of polyphenols are called catechins. According to the National Cancer Institute, EGCG is “the most active and abundant catechin in green tea.”

The NCI goes on to confirm that EGCG (along with other catechins found in matcha) has antioxidant properties. They do indeed destroy free radicals, and they’ve also stopped tumor growth and killed off harmful cells in animal lab studies.

A study published in Aging Cell found that EGCG is capable of “suppressing, slowing down, and reversing the process of carcinogenesis.” Carcinogenesis is the beginning stage of cancer formation, so there’s a possibility that matcha could help to stop cancer from forming in the first place.

While there’s no guarantee that your morning cup of matcha will cure cancer, there’s strong scientific evidence suggesting matcha could improve cancer and stop it from forming. That said, there is no guarantee that cancer victims will see any improvements from drinking matcha.

But the Healthy and Natural World article also claims that matcha has over 100 times the amount found in other teas. This number comes from a study from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. It found that matcha has 137 times the concentration of EGCG than Tazo® China Green Tips tea. It then reports that the concentration of EGCG in matcha is “at least three times higher than the largest literature value for other green teas.”

So what exactly does that mean? As an article from Green Tea Guide points out, the study is stating that their sample of matcha had 137 times more EGCG than the Tazo® tea sample. It’s not saying that matcha has 137 times more EGCG than regular green tea.

As the Green Tea Guide article notes, the USDA has assessed that the average concentration of EGCG in brewed green tea is 77.81 mg. So if the “137 times” claim were true, matcha would have a whopping 10,659.97 mg of EGCG! That’s an extremely dangerous level that could lead to harmful results.

The takeaway? Matcha has about three times the amount of EGCG in regular green tea.

CLAIM #2: Matcha helps you burn fat 4 times faster

What they say: Matcha drinkers can lose 25% more weight than non-matcha drinkers, therefore burning fat 4 times as fast.

Is it true? Yes and no.

Like many of the other claims in the Healthy and Natural World article, this is two claims in one.

First, it says that matcha drinkers lose 25% more weight than non-matcha drinkers. According to the article, there are studies to prove this, but there’s no links to any such studies.

We couldn’t find a study that supported the “4 times faster” or “25% more” claim, but we did find evidence that matcha may help you lose weight faster. Two studies, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research and The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that matcha has anti-obesity properties and “metabolic health benefits.” These are both thanks to EGCG, the same compound that may help prevent cancer.

Yet another study from the American Society for Clinical Nutrition reports that green tea extract increased fat oxidation (burning) in their subjects. Even though you may not burn fat 4 times as fast, you may lose more weight if you incorporate matcha into your diet.

Remember when we said that this was two claims in one? Well, the second claim is that matcha “doesn’t affect your heart rate and blood pressure.” This isn’t true, because matcha contains caffeine, which is known to increase both heart rate and blood pressure. The good news? You can use the alert calm provided by matcha to focus during your workout!

CLAIM #3: Matcha gives you a natural energy boost

What they say: Because of the combination of caffeine and other nutrients, matcha gives you “good, clean energy.”

Is it true? Yes!

This one’s a no-brainer. We’ve posted about the energetic yet calming effects of L-theanine in matcha, and that’s exactly what’s at work here. You experience an alert calm that’s more relaxing than the jittery buzz that coffee brings.

That’s why matcha has been an important part of the Japanese tea ceremony for centuries. It aids in mindfulness and meditation.

CLAIM #4: Matcha makes you look younger

What they say: Matcha fights off disease and protects from UV radiation. This causes the skin to maintain “a youthful appearance.”

Is it true? Probably.

Studies published in Aging Cell and Current Aging Science have shown that plant polyphenols, including EGCG, have anti-aging properties. Aging Cell reported that EGCG protects skin from harmful UVB rays. Scientific American notes that “sun and environmental damage” is the main cause of extrinsic skin aging.

We can’t be 100% sure, but there’s strong evidence to suggest that matcha preserves youthful skin.

If that weren’t enough, Current Aging Science found that EGCG can lessen the impact of age-related diseases. So if you drink matcha, in addition to aging with less wrinkles, you could age with less issues.

CLAIM #5: Matcha helps you chill out

What they say: The L-theanine in matcha lowers stress levels and calms you down.

Is it true? Definitely!

This is the same “alert calm” we mentioned in Claim #3. Even though matcha has caffeine, which typically makes you a tad restless, the L-theanine found in matcha acts as a calming agent, giving you a relaxed focus that’s ideal for rest, meditation, and much more.

CLAIM #6: Matcha improves your memory and concentration

What they say: Matcha improves “cognitive processing” and “increases the secretion of dopamine and serotonin, which help you feel happier and more focussed.

Is it true? Yes!

A study published in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy found that L-theanine increased serotonin and dopamine in animal neurochemistry studies. It also stated that L-theanine could be a “neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent.”

Another study from Northumbria University reported that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine “led to faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy.”

These studies confirm that matcha makes you feel happier and helps you concentrate. Whenever you need to focus, grab a cup of matcha and enjoy that alert calm.

CLAIM #7: Matcha improves your immune system

What they say: Matcha has antioxidants that act as “natural antibiotics” and “contribute to the body’s defense system.”

Is it true? Yes!

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that tea can “provide natural resistance to microbial infections and perhaps tumors.” In an interview with CBS News, Dr. Jack F. Bukowski, one of the authors of the study, said that tea clearly improved the body’s defenses against disease.

We did find that matcha is rich in vitamins, including A, B-complex, C, E, and K. However, we couldn’t find any information regarding the iron or calcium concentration in matcha.

Nevertheless, matcha is an effective immune helper that will increase your body’s ability to fight off sickness.

CLAIM #8: Matcha lowers bad cholesterol

What they say: Matcha lowers “bad” cholesterol (LDL) while increasing levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). This lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Is it true? Yes and no.

Are you one of the 73.5 million adults with high levels of LDL cholesterol? If you are, you might want to consider getting into matcha (if you haven’t already).

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a study on the effects of green tea catechins on cholesterol levels. They found that the catechins in tea reduce both total cholesterol level and LDL cholesterol levels.

However, they reported “no significant effect on HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.” In addition, a study in the Journal of Medicinal Food backs up the cholesterol-lowering claim.

But does matcha help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease? We don’t think so. The World Heart Federation notes that raised HDL levels decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, and there’s no science to prove that matcha raises HDL levels.

The bottom line: Matcha can lower LDL levels, but it doesn’t seem to affect your HDL levels or safeguard you from cardiovascular disease.

CLAIM #9: Matcha detoxifies your body

What they say: The chlorophyll in matcha removes heavy metals and other bad substances from your body, thereby detoxifying it.

Is it true? Maybe, maybe not.

We couldn’t find any studies to affirm or disprove the detox claim, though it does seem that chlorophyll has detoxifying effects. However, we can’t say for sure.

On the other hand, the Mayo Clinic suggests that detox diets may not be helping you that much. The kidneys and liver naturally remove toxins from your body. Most detox diets eliminate processed food, which makes people feel better.

Of course, we wholeheartedly recommend matcha for mental detoxification!


CLAIM #10: Drink 1-2 cups a day

What they say: The Healthy and Natural World article doesn’t actually recommend a cup limit, but they say “the average consumption is 1-2 cups a day.”

Is it true? Yes!

Matcha contains 65g-70g of caffeine per 8 fl. oz. cup. The FDA recommends 100g-200g a day. 2 cups of matcha with 70g of caffeine puts you at 140g, which seems to be a good level.

However, the Mayo Clinic says that up to 400g of caffeine a day is fine. That’s 5 or 6 cups of matcha a day! Also keep in mind that we’re talking about 8 fl. oz. cups here, which is a lot smaller than most mainstream cups and glasses.

How many cups should you drink? It’s hard to say because each cup of matcha may have a different level of caffeine. We recommend 1-3 a day to keep consumption at a safe level.

When drinking matcha, don’t overdo it. Remember it’s about the drinking experience; sit back, relax, and sip.

With the holiday season coming up, there’s bound to be lots of overeating and overdrinking. While you might not think about the potential consequences of these activities, this overindulgence can have damaging results, both long term and short term. To help keep the damage to an absolute minimum, you need something to take the edge off, provide you with healing substances, and get you back to a clear state of mind. That’s why matcha is going to be your new best friend this holiday season.

So if you’re planning to party this upcoming season and need a refreshing way to recover and get your energy back, you definitely need to pick up some ever-magical matcha.

Matcha – The Miracle Hangover Cure?

Hangovers affect millions with uncomfortable headaches and a lingering sickness that makes them regret those endless shots. Over the years, people have tried countless hangover cures: cold showers, coffee, and exercise are just a few. But we know a far better hangover cure, one that actually works.

Maybe it’s all of the antioxidants or the unique amino acids, but matcha has been proven time and time again to be a hangover cure. A study by the University of Maryland showed that green tea “seems to protect the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances such as alcohol.”

Of course, this is no reason to count down to Christmas with the 25 Days of Drunkenness. However, a soothing cup of matcha will help snap you out of that morning-after fog. It will take you from a groggy haze to a Zen-like alertness in mere minutes. It’ll be the most refreshing part of your morning and turn the day around. Instead of going throughout the day in a post-drunken stupor, enjoy the rejuvenating effects of matcha.

In addition to enhanced clarity of mind, you’ll get an energy boost thanks to the one-two punch of L-theanine and caffeine. The two work in unison to sharpen your focus and calm you. As an added bonus, matcha is known to enhance your metabolism, giving you even more energy. Matcha is like an energy drink, but it’s doesn't leave half a liter of battery acid in your stomach and turn your urine neon yellow.

An interesting hangover cure that includes matcha involves mixing it with coconut water and sea salt. If you regularly drink matcha (you should!) and want to try a new taste, take this for a spin.

Get the Right Matcha

To fully recover from a colossal hangover, you need the purest form of matcha you can get your hands on. The problem is that most matcha out there is severely lacking. The kind you get at mainstream coffee shops is often weighed down with excess sugar. Sometimes, sugar is the first ingredient! This isn’t matcha; this is liquid candy.

Real matcha has little to no added sugar (preferably none), as its potent effects emerge strongest when the tea is in its purest form. The greener the tea, the more effective and better tasting it will be. If you’re unsure if you have good or bad matcha, check out our guide to detecting matcha quality.

Our matcha is proudly hand-harvested in Kagoshima, Japan, and it’s certified organic by the USDA and the JAS, which is the gold standard of the organic world. We take these measures to make sure that the integrity of the matcha is preserved, all the way from the plant to your cup. Our matcha isn’t bogged down by useless sugar or unhealthy additives––there’s just plain, wonderful matcha.

Recipe: Magus Matcha Hangover Helper


  • 4 grams of Magus Brands matcha
  • 16.9 fl. oz. water
  1. Grab 4 grams of Magus Brands matcha. This equals roughly one teaspoon or two stickpacks.
  2. Grab 16.9 fl. oz. of chilled water. This is the size of most water bottles.
  3. Mix the matcha in the water, shake heartily, and start sipping to relieve yourself of the hangover blues.

You can also make the matcha hot if you need a warm, calming cup to help you recover. Check out our brew guide for more information on making matcha, both hot and cold.

So this holiday season, try not to drink yourself to sleep, but if you do find yourself overly imbibed, try a cup of matcha.

Imagine this: You walk into a local grocery store. You find the tea aisle and grab some matcha. The container looks nice, and you have no reason to doubt it. Right? Think again.

Sadly, some companies sell impure matcha and put it in nice packaging. They figure the customer will be none the wiser, and the company makes more sales. We hate this vicious cycle of deception that occurs, so in this post, we’re going to be showing you the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to matcha.

Sometimes, bad matcha is hard to pick out. It can look good in some respects but bad in others. Maybe it tastes funny to you and you don’t know exactly why. There are a wide range of factors to take into consideration, including flavor, freshness, and color.

And before you drink your matcha, take the short quiz at the end of this post to determine whether or not it’s pure.

The good…

We know a cup of good matcha when we drink one, and these characteristics of a pure cup are some we’ve picked up over the years.

  • Flavor: Good matcha should have a vegetal taste and a sweet aftertaste that lingers. It shouldn’t taste too sweet or two bitter; instead, it should be complex and vibrant.
  • Color: Pure matcha should be a bright electric green color. Matcha is shade-grown, and this process increases the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves, giving the tea its vivid green hue.
  • Date: Just as good coffee should have a roasting date on it, good matcha should have a freshness date. The more recent, the better. Older matcha can get stale, and it’s not uncommon to see months-old matcha sitting on store shelves.
  • Authenticity: Good matcha should come from Japan and not China. Japan is widely known as the most superior source of matcha. The matcha should also be certified organic by a legitimate, well-known organization, such as the USDA or Oregon Tilth.

  • The bad…

    Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to tell if you have bad matcha. Here are some of the warning signs:

  • Staleness: This is most noticeable in the smell and the taste of the matcha. If it smells musty, it’s most likely stale, as good matcha should have a vegetal smell. An overly bitter or sour taste is another good sign that your matcha is past its prime.
  • Discolored matcha: Good matcha should have an unmistakable neon green hue. If it’s a darker green, yellow, or even brown, you’ve got some bad matcha on your hands. This is also usually the result of staleness.
  • Bastardized matcha: Many types of matcha are mixed with excess sugar to give the tea a sweeter taste, but the sugar masks the true flavors of matcha. In fact, sometimes sugar is the first ingredient! Ideally, no sugar should be added to matcha.

  • And the Ugly:

    Far too often, matcha companies resort to seedy practices in order to sell their wares. They promise ceremonial grade matcha that tastes great, but in reality, it could be poorly processed and full of dangerous chemicals. Here are some tricks companies use that you should watch out for.

  • Lead contamination: This is a huge issue in China, where a lot of matcha is grown. China’s toxic environment causes the leaves to absorb more lead than normal. In a 2006 study, 32% of examined leaves from China were found to have dangerous levels of lead.
  • Chinese matcha: Aside from the pollution and lead contamination, Chinese matcha is often mislabeled as organic and/or as ceremonial grade. Matcha grown in China is often not shade-grown; instead, it’s fried. This method ruins the natural flavors and rich depth of matcha.
  • False value: Much of the matcha grown in China is sold as premium, ceremonial grade matcha when it’s absolutely not. The best matcha comes from Japan, where it is properly and safely grown and processed.

  • Our Goal

    We’re passionate about providing you with true matcha and not a poor knock-off. Our matcha is shade-grown by hand in Kagoshima, one of the safest areas to grow tea in Japan. The tea grown in Kagoshima is not only safe, but also harvested by hand and treated with the utmost respect and delicacy.

    We also want to provide the best value possible for the product: honestly ceremonial grade that’s been certified organic by the USDA. All of this at an affordable price. We want you to enjoy matcha any way you like, and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen.

    We always stay transparent about our process and give you all of the details. It was our vision for people to enjoy matcha with peace of mind about its origin and safety, and now, we’re making that a reality.

    Matcha is an extraordinary drink. It not only tastes delicious but also provides amazing benefits. It’s refreshing to sit down with a cup of warm matcha (or a bottle of fresh, cold matcha) and relax.

    We thought we’d take a look at how matcha compares to other popular drinks. Millions of people enjoy either tea, coffee, or espresso every day. So we pitted matcha up against these crowd favorites, and the results only underscored matcha’s greatness.

    We believe in going the extra mile, whether that means organically sourcing our matcha or providing high-quality content to you. So we’ve given you the in-depth profiles on each of these drinks to show you the numbers and facts behind them. If you’re yearning to learn more about why matcha is so wonderful or want to see what’s at work in your morning beverage, you’ll find this little list to be useful and enlightening.


    Taste: Vegetal, umami, sweet

    Caffeine: About 65g–70mg of caffeine per 8 fl. oz. cup


    • 137 times the antioxidants of a cup of green tea
    • Provides L-theanine for an alert calm
    • Can help fight off infections
    • Increases blood flow in the cerebral cortex for improved focus
    • Increases alpha activity in the brain, causing increased attention


    • Doesn’t last long enough
    • Regular consumer brands can be pricey


    Taste: Varies; citrus, floral, and sweet are common tastes

    Caffeine: 0g–70mg per 8 fl. oz. cup, depending on type (decaffeinated to black tea)


    • Anti-inflammatory properties
    • Good source of antioxidants
    • Boosts endurance


    • May inhibit absorption of iron
    • May cause upset stomach


    Taste: Varies; floral, chocolatey, and nutty are common tastes

    Caffeine: 95g–200g per 8 fl. oz. cup, depending on type (varies by country of origin and other factors)


    • Can reduce risk of developing certain cancers
    • Can reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes
    • Good source of antioxidants


    • Can cause jitteriness
    • Can raise blood pressure and heart rate


    Taste: Varies; can taste bright, chocolatey, citrus, etc.

    Caffeine: 65mg–75mg per 8 fl. oz. cup


    • Same benefits as coffee


    • Same drawbacks as coffee

    The Wonder of Matcha

    To us, matcha is the perfect balance of taste and benefits. Its one-of-a-kind taste is delectable, and the calming L-theanine can work wonders on a tired, exhausted disposition. It’s the ideal companion to work, study, or relaxation.

    Since matcha does contain roughly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of brewed coffee, we recommend you follow the same guidelines for consumption. It’s generally recommended that you drink no more than 4 cups of brewed coffee each day, so the same goes for matcha.

    Keep in mind that a cup is 8 fl. oz.! A Starbucks Grande size is 16 fl. oz., so it’s two cups. When you’re consuming matcha, we recommend purchasing mugs that are 8 fl. oz. in size to keep track of your consumption. (As a plus, an 8 fl. oz. mug is a lovely, miniature-sized addition to your kitchen.)

    Otherwise, enjoy your matcha. Enjoy the ritual and warmth that comes with brewing and drinking matcha, and don’t forget to replenish your wares.

    We’re a little biased, but we have to say, our carefully picked organic matcha is extremely versatile. If you like, you can devote a block of time to brewing it traditional-style, or you can make it on the go in literally seconds.

    But you can’t make great matcha if you don’t have great tools. So we’ve curated a list of the finest matcha-brewing gear available. Whether you enjoy your matcha at home, at work, or anywhere in between, we’ll help you make the best dang cup of matcha you’ve ever had.


    Making matcha at home with traditional tools is a peculiar, delicate process. It requires not only a practiced hand, but also the finest in matcha gear. We talked about this gear in our brew guide, and now, we’ll help get it into your hands.

    Chasen (bamboo whisk)

    The chasen is a whisk with bamboo tines. It is used to stir the matcha by hand and achieve the ideal texture. Many purists argue that you can only achieve matcha perfection by using the chasen. (We’ll leave it up to you to decide.)

    Get it: We love BambooMN’s whisk and spoon set for its aesthetics and usability. These are durable tools that are perfect for both the matcha novice and the veteran sipper.

    Chashaku (bamboo spoon)

    The chashaku is used for precisely measuring the matcha. Using a chashaku instead of a measuring cup or regular spoon will allow for less cleanup time, and we find it’s perfect for stirring beverages (from matcha to coffee and everything else). As a plus, it looks great.

    Get it: This comes with BambooMN’s set.

    Chawan (matcha bowl)

    The chawan is a bowl specially crafted for making tea. Its delicate and exact form help to create a smooth, full-bodied cup of matcha.

    Get it: We recommend purchasing a chawan that was crafted in Japan.

    Chakin (tea cloth)

    The chakin is a linen cloth used to clean the chawan. As opposed to a regular household dishcloth, the chakin is soft and nonabrasive. This is an important characteristic, as the chakan shouldn’t be scratched by a cloth that’s too rough.

    Get it: A fine linen chakin will work well for basic brewing purposes.

    Furui (sifter)

    Sifting is an often overlooked aspect of the matcha brewing process. If you don’t sift your matcha, you’re likely to get clumps of tea in the resulting cup. The sifter breaks down the clumps back into particles for a creamy, silken cup.

    Get it: As with the chawan, a furui made in Japan will be of the highest quality.


    If you’re a matcha maverick or simply don’t have the time or resources to invest in traditional preparation, try the non-traditional method. We outlined it in our brew guide, and it requires less tools. If done well, this method will create a similarly smooth cup of tea that you’ll enjoy.

    Milk frother

    While purists may wince at the suggestion, a high-quality milk frother can produce a wonderful cup of matcha in a fraction of the time.

    Chawan or smooth bowl

    The chawan is still ideal here, as it is made with tea in mind. However, you can use a similarly shaped, smooth bowl and achieve a similar result.

    Chashaku or measuring spoon

    Having a chashaku is preferred, but you may opt to use a measuring spoon. We do, however, recommend using a wooden spoon to stir your tea if you need to do so.

    Furui or sieve

    The sifter is still optional, but we recommend it for optimum results. A clumpy cup isn’t the most enjoyable.


    One of our favorite methods for making matcha, the express method is perfect for on-the-go situations. We’ve gathered a complete list of everything you need to make cold matcha in a snap.

    A chilled 16.9 fl. oz. water bottle

    We recommend using a reusable glass bottle with chilled, filtered water. Alternatively, you can use your favorite bottled water brand. This is a great way to enjoy matcha on the go. Grab a bottle of water, get your easy-to-carry pack of MatchaSticks™, and create a revitalizing cup in literally seconds.

    Get it: Any supermarket, gas station, or convenience store.

    Your hands

    These are ideal for shaking the bottle and creating a vigorous mixture of tea and water for the most refreshing, energizing drink you’ll ever have.

    Get it: We recommend using the hands attached to your wrists.

    We love matcha for so many reasons. Its rich, unparalleled taste is out of this world, and it also offers several health benefits. It’s truly a superdrink in every sense of the word. (Forget nasty protein shakes and questionably enhanced veggie juices.)

    Today’s Monday, and for us, every Monday is Matcha Monday. We’re celebrating by sharing with you some of the health benefits of matcha.

    As you probably know firsthand, millions of people experience unbelievable levels of stress in their everyday lives. Balancing work, family life, and other obligations is nearly impossible at times. As a result, people get less done, and all of these factors make them even sadder.

    While matcha isn’t a magical fix for every problem, it’s a magical drink with amazing properties. It can improve your concentration, productivity, and mood, and it’s tasty to boot.

    The magic of matcha

    Matcha contains two compounds that are vital to its many benefits: L-theanine and caffeine.

    L-theanine is a unique amino acid that’s commonly found in tea. Studies have shown that increases the brain’s alpha activity, which occurs when you’re paying attention to something. It also relaxes the brain without inducing drowsiness, and many people report experiencing this “alert calm” after drinking a cup of matcha.

    Caffeine is the drug of choice for millions, but few actually know its benefits. It sharpens your focus and senses by enhancing blood flow in the cerebral cortex. And although caffeine is typically associated with making you shake, it can actually decrease anxiety and make you happier.

    Matcha delivers the benefits of both of these ingredients. It helps you to:

    • Increase your focus: The enhanced cerebral blood flow causes you to be more attentive and alert. This is ideal if you’re working on a big project or need to spend a lot of time concentrating.
    • Enhance productivity: Since your focus is increased, you’ll end up getting more done. You can more easily get rid of distractions and concentrate on the task at hand.
    • Improve your mood: L-theanine calms you while caffeine elevates your mood. So if you find yourself stressed at work, a brimming cup of matcha could help you be more productive and more positive.

    And of course, you can’t beat the luxurious umami taste of a quality cup of matcha. We’ve sourced the best organic matcha that’s as smooth as velvet and unbelievably rich. Get yours here, and celebrate Matcha Monday with us.

    Matcha is one of the most beneficial, soothing drinks you’ll ever have. In recent years, it’s become more widespread, and more and more people are enjoying it. Despite its popularity, not many people know its unique characteristics or its long history.

    If you’re interested in becoming a true matcha connoisseur, then read on to explore the nature and origins of this amazing tea.

    What is matcha and how is it made?

    Matcha is a finely ground, powdered tea that comes from a shade-grown leaf called tencha. The tea leaves are placed in shade in order to promote growth and photosynthesis.

    While the leaves are shaded, their levels of chlorophyll and L-theanine increase. This causes the leaves to become a deeper shade of green, and they produce amino acids (such as L-theanine).

    The leaves are hand-harvested and laid out to dry. After the veins and stems are removed, the leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder, which is matcha.

    What benefits does matcha have?

  • It's packed with antioxidants.
  • You’ve probably heard the word “antioxidant” thrown around a lot, and it’s an important term to understand. Antioxidants help protect your body from harmful cells called free radicals. Free radicals can damage or even destroy healthy cells, and antioxidants prevent the free radicals from doing any harm. A mere 2 grams of Magus Brands matcha contains 137 times the antioxidants of a cup of green tea.

  • It helps fight off infection.
  • The antioxidants and amino acids found in matcha contribute to your body’s immune system, helping to fortify it against infections and illness.

  • It calms you with L-theanine.
  • L-theanine is an amino acid that helps you feel relaxed and less stressed. It gives you a calm feeling without drowsiness. Drinking a cup of matcha before you work may help you maintain a clearer, more alert state of mind.

  • It provides an energy boost. The caffeine in a cup of matcha is comparable to the caffeine in a cup of brewed coffee. However, since the caffeine is paired with L-theanine, your energy levels and relaxation levels are both boosted. You get all the energy you’d get from a cup of coffee, but you won’t be jittery, shaky, or anxious.

  • How is matcha brewed?

    See our matcha brew guide for detailed information on the brewing process.


    We love matcha for all of these reasons and more. It’s relaxing every step of the way, from brewing it to drinking it, and its umami taste is delightful.

    If you want to find out for yourself why matcha is so good, grab some Magus Brands ceremonial matcha or easy-to-brew MatchaSticks.™